There has always been a fair amount of drama on the stock market.
Whether it’s crazy periods of volatility that have captured the markets over the past year, or new and exciting companies getting ready to go public, there’s almost always something to get excited about.
Stock market films depict those moments in a simple, entertaining yet educating way.
Directors of these finance movies really capture the essence behind whats really happens behind those flashy buildings of the Financial District of NYC.
While watching you’ll be amazed (and disgusted at the behavior of the sharks and the money-hungry.
I guarantee that most of these true stories will teach you something new and that as a Hollywood movie will also entertain you as well.
Here are the top 10 best stock market movies of all time:
10. Too Big to Fail
What you’ll learn– How mortgage-backed securities (MBS) defaults spread the crisis across the globe from Wall Street.
It also portrays the incompetent decisions and policies implemented by the U.S. Federal Reserve to try to stabilize the financial markets.
Henry Paulson, United States Secretary of the Treasury after leaving his top job at Goldman Sachs, is trying to address the issues during the global economic meltdown.
The film is written and released in 2011 by Andrew Ross Sorkin, who has also written ongoing TV series Billions (also a must-watch to learn about hedge funds & insider trading) and is directed by Curtis Hanson.
It’s about how big and interconnected some companies are, especially financial institutions.
It showcases how their collapse is catastrophic for the overall economic system.
And also explains the few clips about the crisis in the mortgage industry.
9. Trading Places
What you’ll learn– The movie shows trading’s ups and downs in a comedy genre giving America’s socio-economic basics and class structure.
The film also depicts a lot of stereotypical money beliefs.
Personally speaking, this is among the best stock trading movies which show basic emotions that go behind the volatility of a commodity.
Tough its 2020, but the emotions that go behind bull & bear markets are the same.
Because of a bet, two callous millionaire brothers conspire to swap a snobbish investor’s and a wily street con artist’s fortunes.
This modern-day twist on ‘The Prince and Pauper’ stars Eddie Murphy as a street-wise con-artist who gets manipulated into becoming the manager of a commodities trading company while inadvertently replacing his successor, a blue-blooded executive (Dan Aykroyd).
While actual trading takes a backseat to the characters transitioning into their new circumstances, the final 15 minutes of the film have a very accurate depiction of a frenzied trading session in the pits of orange juice futures trading.
8. Barbarians at the Gate
What you’ll learn– Barbarians at the gate is inspired by a real-life event.
Movie viewers will be surprised and entertained by Nabisco’s CEO F. Ross Johnson’s failure and greed, as well as the background negotiations and skullduggery around this popular LBO.
This investment movie depicts the true story of massive food and a tobacco corporation, R.J.R. Nabisco’s leveraged buy-out. This conglomerate is to be taken over by a vicious war.
The group’s CEO, F. Ross Johnson (James Garner), attempts to buy the undervalued company from investors indirectly.
But the Wall Street investment professionals he recruits are becoming his buyout competition.
At its worst, it’s a “Greed is Good” grab for money.
This classic shows how Wall Street firms thrive on the inside of these mega-merger and acquisition deals.
Best finance movie on corporate insights if you are a Value Investor.
7. Margin Call
What you’ll learn– Margin Call does little to hide the disdain for some of the largest banks’ reckless risk-taking in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008, such as the sale in complex derivative instruments that they barely understood.
This financial crisis movie also reminds the importance of risk management.
The day before the 2008 US stock market crash, the head of the management division of a financial company working on critical analysis is fired.
His protégé attempts to complete the analysis and finds out the real reason for their financial downturn.
Then the characters are forced to take drastic action to reduce their losses.
The plot takes place in a 24-hour time window of chaos during the 2008 financial crisis, a real roller coaster ride you don’t want to miss.
If you’re interested in what happens during the crisis inside financial firms, this might be the movie about a stock market crash for you.
6. Glengarry Glen Ross
What you’ll learn– The stock market movie shows the greed and underhanded tactics to which advisory positions can be subjected, and the pressure their managers place on salespeople. (A wake-up call if you buy stocks based on reckless recommendations by your advisory or brokerage.)
A real estate sales office gets the news that at the end of the week, all except the top 2 will be fired, the office atmosphere begins to heat up.
This infinitely quotable movie, an acclaimed big-screen adaptation of a David Mamet play, focuses on a team of downtrodden real estate salesmen.
The story is about the four Chicago salesmen, Levene, Roma, Moss, and Aaronow, who are working together to sell undesirable real estate at inflated prices.
The film depicts how ethics and morals of salespeople are eroded, after years of working for their unscrupulous company.
Shelley Levene (who has a sick daughter) tries what he can get better leads from his boss, John Williamson.
His coworker, Dave Moss, comes up with a plan to snatch the leads.
(I’ll not spoil) When the cops are called, we discover that the real culprit is something you haven’t expected, it’s a good twist for a film that depicts tensing character relationships.
The movie climaxes the surprise solution of the theft.
5. Boiler Room
What you’ll learn– Focused on the lowest Pump and Dump scheme operators, this broker movie is excellent that gives an insight into the dirty financial practices that are still around today.
Boiler Room serves as a warning to those starting to invest in the stock market, to stick to transparent and reliable companies based on sound fundamentals.
A college dropout earns a position as an investment firm broker that takes it to a successful career.
Yet success clouds its judgment and pulls it into a vortex of greed and selfishness.
Boiler Room is among the must-watch movies about the stock market, for those who want to know how the illusion of enormous wealth can poison minds and how it can corrupt and devastate investors.
4. Rogue Trader
What you’ll learn– This one of the best wall street movies shows you that there was (and still is) no transparency and risk management in the top banks.
An overview of a trader’s mind and why we need good oversight and safeguards because every person’s mindset can be ruinous
Rogue Trader is based on a true story of Nick Leeson, a derivatives broker, who caused the bankruptcy of the 233-year-old Barings Bank in England, the second-oldest trading bank in the world at the time in 1995.
A rising star on the trading floor of Singapore, Leesons blows up his account as quickly as he progressed, covering massive losses in carefully hidden accounts from his bosses.
This eventually leads him to a trail unsuccessful trading on the Nikkei Stock Average, which leads to a major sigma move in the end.
The losses ultimately amount to £827 million (US$1.4 billion), two times the trading capital available to Barings.
His only option is to flee the country with Lisa (Anna Friel), his beautiful wife, but Leeson has to eventually face his own consequences.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street
What you’ll learn– Like Barbarian’s pump and dump, The Wolf of Wall Street is created around the notorious Stratton Oakmont firm.
A pump and dump scheme that helped IPOs many large public companies in the late 80s and 90s, based on real-life events (with an unrealistic yet true-life based drama and a touch of Caprio’s best performance).
Jordan Belfort has become part of the fast lane brokerage firm, L.F. Rothschild as a junior broker loses his job on Black Monday (1987 Market crash).
With Donnie Azoff, he teams up and steals on the way up as his ties go, ultimately starting his brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont.
This 3-hour-movie, in my opinion, is among the most entertaining and funny stock broker movies in Hollywood, if not on our list. It will not satisfy you watching just once.
2. The Big Short
What you’ll learn– It’s the best movie to learn about the 2008 housing crash (mortgage crisis).
As it shows, the shortcomings of investment banks and companies that barely understand the products they wonderfully develop and make a profit.
A few financial professionals note in the mid-2000s the uncertainty and expect the crash of the US housing market.
Michael Burry (Christian Bale), a hedge fund manager, realizes that many subprime home loans run the risk of default.
Burry bets against the housing market using $1 billion of his investors’ money against collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).
His short positions attract the attention of bankers, hedge-fund specialists, and other greedy opportunists.
Taking advantage together of the imminent economic collapse in the United States, these men make a fortune.
They find faults and corruption in the system through their research.
This film combines goofy comedy and a financial crisis in which made nearly 8 million people unemployed.
1. Wall Street
What you’ll learn– The movie alerts us about the dangers of insider trading and market manipulation.
The wall street movie is a must-watch flick about the stock market for beginners.
Bud Fox, a junior stockbroker, is interested in working with his idol Gordon Gekko and tries to impress him by spying on renowned companies.
Ultimately, the stockbroker (Charlie Sheen) develops a deep respect for Gekko (Douglas), by providing insider information, which attracts him to corporate raiding.
Gekko assigns Bud in a scheme in which Bud unknowingly endangers his father’s (played by actor’s real-life father, Martin Sheen) ability to make an honorable living.
After learning Gekko’s evil antics manipulated him, Bud attempts to destroy Gordon, in which, he gains success.
The popular phrase “greed is good” was offered to us by Gekko in this classic share market movie.
In 2010 a sequel was released “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”
Michael Douglas reprises his role as Gordon Gekko and starring with Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, and Josh Brolin.
These best stock movies are significant to any potential financial expert.
Although if you don’t have a career in the field, these films can give you a sense of the wild and sometimes crazy financial world.
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watching movies is one of my favorite hobbies. i have always loved watching movies especially movies made by top movie making companies. i have seen a lot of movies including historic, war, strategic, love and whatever kind of movie there is.
Most of these movies depict insides of the financial world in simpistic sense.
Real wall street and banking environment is much complexly vast. You got investment banking, corporate banking, retail banking, hedge funds, mutual funds, corporate finance.
Almost all hollywood wall street movies only cover corporate raiding or aspects of insider trading of stocks only.
Yes but the majority of audience are normal people. If the directors start including the everyday operations, the movie plot might turn boring.